Thursday, November 14, 2013

Harper Men Win Third Straight National Championship

Men's Cross Country: Nationals 2013
The Harper men captured their third straight national title. (Colin Weber)

NORTHFIELD, Mass. – The Harper men's cross country team placed four runners in the top ten on Saturday at the Northfield Mountain Recreation Center to win their third straight national title. The Hawks scored 45 points to top closest challengers Ocean County College (84 points) and third place Suny Delhi (117 points).

"We ran our normal race and moved up as we planned," said Harper head coach Jim Macnider. "I was impressed with the way the guys ran the races all season long."

Brennan Albuck (/Hoffman Estates), who steadily improved throughout the year, was Harper's top runner and finished in fourth place in a time of 28:02 on the hilly 8K course. Teammate Zach Stella (Palatine, Ill./Palatine)captured fifth place with a time of 28:07.

"Brennan stayed consistent and worked hard throughout the year," Macnider said. "In the beginning of the year, he wasn't in the top seven, but I knew he was good and would be in the top five before we were done."

Juan Barajas (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Schaumburg) crossed the finish line in 28:45 to take eighth place. Jhoan Lino (León, Guanajuato/Streamwood) rounded out the top 10 as he finished with a time of 28:50. Sebastian Ramirez (Lima, Peru/Palatine) rounded out the top five for the Hawks with a 21st place finish in 29:28.

Nick Modlin (Wheeling, Ill./Wheeling) and Andrew Guibord (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge) also ran strong races, placing 30th (29:51) and 42nd (30:38) respectively.

"This whole group all season long has been pretty close. They were there for one another and supported each other," Macnider said. "They meshed really well, and we had an enjoyable time."

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